News Danny Dyer ‘proud’ he’s helped young gay men come out

The new star heaped praise upon the touching EastEnders storyline his character Mick Carter has been part of

Barton hopes his form has convinced doubters

Newcastle United and Joey Barton should have been a match made in heaven right from the off, but three-and-a-half years on they finally seem to have started to click. It's that time of year to reflect on Christmas past. Barton needs little reminding of his whereabouts in 2007, sat in a cell, shortly to be convicted of punching a teenager in the head 20 times, the culmination of a drunken night out that would see him serve 77 days of a six-month sentence for assault. Surely the doors on the last-chance saloon had been locked shut this time?

You Better Not Cry, By Augusten Burroughs

Written in the same self-deprecating, gently witty vein as David Sedaris' quirky vignettes, these thematic stories of Christmas confusions and misdemeanours are a delightful read.

The top 20 TV programmes for the festive season

In the not-too-distant past, tradition dictated that the whole family watched television together on Christmas Day, but what we view and how we view it has undergone a transformation. Gerard Gilbert reports and selects the 20 programmes not to miss during the festive season

The Jesus story with a hint of EastEnders

Tony Jordan's latest BBC drama proves you don't have to be a believer to make a good Nativity film, says Gerard Gilbert

JB Shorts 4, Joshua Brooks Bar, Manchester

The little festival of six playets known as JB Shorts is becoming something of a tradition in Manchester. This is the fourth year in which a group of writers and actors from TV soaps get together to do the kind of work that they wouldn't be allowed to do on the telly but which was what brought them into writing and acting in the first place. Denizens of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Holby City, Casualty, Two Pints of Lager, Heartbeat produce two hours that are polished, poignant and provocative.

Tanztheater Wuppertal / Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells, London<br/>Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Barbican Theatre, London

These are unquestionably giants of modern dance, but what contrasts these performances reveal

First 'Kama Sutra' audio book made

Historic sex guide the Kama Sutra is to be published as an audio book for the first time.

Swearing: When a curse can be a blessing

There's nothing like a spot of precision swearing on TV. It may not be big, says Fiona Sturges, but it can be clever

Fire to mark last orders for Eastenders' Queen Vic

One of the UK's most famous pubs will go up in flames as EastEnders' Queen Vic is destroyed by fire later this year, TV bosses confirmed today

BBC 1 will go HD by end of year

Programmes such as EastEnders, The Apprentice and The One Show are to be broadcast in high definition by the end of the year as the whole of BBC 1 goes HD, it was announced yesterday.

9.9m watched TV election debate

An audience of 9.9 million viewers watched last night's historic election debate between the three party leaders, figures showed today.

Ruck and Maul: Greenwood is punished by his own pupils at 'School of Hard Knocks'

Ever fancied giving a rugby pundit a good pasting? Sky Sports' 'School of Hard Knocks' will do it for you, in episode four of the series to be aired next Tuesday night. Will Greenwood and Scott Quinnell are attempting to turn a bunch of East London ex-criminals and ne'er-do-wells into a rugby team, and the latest episode sees one player, known as Lucky, pile into Greenwood during a tackle session. A suitably gravelly voiceover comes from Steve "Phil Mitchell" McFadden of 'Eastenders' – surprising really, when Ross Kemp is the real-life rugby fan among the fictional brothers. Anyway, with two more episodes to come even the relentlessly positive Greenwood, whose dad Dick was one of England's greatest coaching innovators, is wondering if this motley crew are worth all the aggro.

Can telly still draw a crowd?

Despite the growing trend for 'event dramas', the nation rarely watches TV en masse, argues Fiona Sturges

Two Women, Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London

Women on the verge of cliché
Sport
Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sterling will put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One quarter-finals
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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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Not quite what they were expecting
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When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires

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Angelina Jolie and Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal at the Golden Globes in 2011
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Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...